Looks like the film has crossed over the 100,000 views mark and adds thousands more every week. Fantastic news that this movie is finding a large and wide audience! Along with the 37,000 plus on Vimeo and another 8,000 on Dailymotion. Thank you to everyone who has watched it. Hopefully you’re telling others because you enjoyed it!
A number of months have gone by and some of you probably weren’t able to grab a copy of the February issue of Fangoria which covered the film. Here we have it re-typed for you!
It has been a tale oft-told and adapted unfaithfully in horror cinema too many times to count. It speaks of greed, loss, arrogance, motherhood… in fact, it’s a story about the human condition, full stop, cloaked in an icy sheen of supernatural terror.
It’s W.W. Jacobs’ masterful short story “The Monkey’s Paw,” and although it has been represented in spirit in the likes of Stephen King’s “Pet Cemetery” and Bob Clark’s “Deathdream”, parodied in “The Simpsons” and most recently riffed on in the Hammer production “Wake Wood,” rarely has it been translated in its purest state — a problem that filmmaker Ricky Lewis Jr. has rectified with his magnificently atmospheric, emotional short adaptation. “It was extremely important for me to be faithful to Jacobs’ story,” Lewis says. “It’s a masterpiece and doesn’t need me to one-up it, only to pay tribute to a remarkable craftsman.”
The story is simple: In the early part of the century, a middle-class British couple’s houseguest, a sergeant-major recently returned from India, bestows upon them an accursed, severed and mummified monkey’s paw that is supposed to grant its owner three wishes. Despite the sergeant-major’s pleas for the couple to burn the trinket, the husband makes a wish, one that of course comes true… and leads to horrifying consequences for the entire family.
“Their tragedy interested me more than trying to make a quick, gory horror movie,” Lewis says. “Tragedy is horror. That meant the need to focus more on the characters and portray them in a way that made them immediately likable. You’d want to spend an evening with them in their cozy home. Then what comes next, after their wishes, makes it even more horrific — as if it could happen to you.”
The key to “The Monkey’s Paw’s” success is not only its faithfulness to its source, but an understanding of texture and atmosphere — something that many low-budget filmmakers fail to create, but which was mandatory for Lewis and Co. “The visual approach was to make a Gothic, live-action version of the early Disney animated style, like the scariness of “Snow White,” the director explains. “A lot of time and effort was put into the digital grade and the effects work to maintain a storybook feel. The early Hammer films like “Curse of Frankenstein” and “Dracula Has Risen from the Grave” were also big influences on the aesthetic I was going after. It should feel timeless, like a great oil painting.”
Lewis’s next project is a massive, faithful adaptation of another million-times-mined tale, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” While that beast brews, check out his short by visiting www.monkeyspawmovie.com. — Chris Alexander
As the month of ghouls and haunts drew closed, the film passed the 18k views mark this week on Vimeo and is attracting thousands of people on Youtube. It’s great so many are discovering it, especially as Halloween has just passed. Schools across the country are showing it to their students and we’re receiving an overwhelming positive response. Thank you to everyone for discovering “The Monkey’s Paw” and continuing to share it!
If you’re at your local news stand then pick up a copy of Fangoria Issue #310 to see an article on the film and the director! Or go online to get a copy and help support this wonderful magazine: http://www.fangoria.com.
Los Angeles Movie Awards honored “The Monkey’s Paw” with Best Narrative Short, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress – Rosemary Spence, Best Special Effects and Best Score! Thank you to them for the exciting appreciation.
Thank you to Chris the Editor of Fangoria Magazine for checking out the film. This was his response:
This is a little masterpiece, man…my goodness, I adore this..great acting, scary as hell, elegant….
Ambush Bug who covers all things horror at the fantastic site AintItCool.com had this to say about “The Monkey’s Paw.”
I loved this little short. Yes, it’s a tale often told, but never through the visionary eye of Ricky Lewis Jr. Lewis mixes animation with real life to make a vivid interpretation of THE MONKEY’S PAW like I’ve never seen before.
After receiving a monkey’s paw from a lodger, a couple finds that the magical totem grants them three wishes, but the wishes don’t turn out to be exactly what they wish for. What plays out is part morality tale, part drama, and all gorgeous. Quirky and fun with shades of Tim Burton-esque art design and melancholy, THE MONKEY’S PAW is a little gem that is a feast for the eyes, despite it’s short film length.
Thank you for watching Ambush!
Great news, “The Monkey’s Paw” was featured on Dailymotion.com starting October 28th. It’s already received 5,400 views in four days.
Thank you so much, Guillermo, for taking a look at “The Monkey’s Paw.” I was honored.
Here’s what he had to say,
It’s a really interesting adaptation- with the dramatized prologue (not in Jacob’s story) and it has a very nice tonal quality to it. Ambitious and full of inventive stuff. Any hint of its budget is buried under great creative resources. Some of the actors are better than others but it is a very well-mounted, very smart piece. You have done a great job- G
Here’s what they had to say about “The Monkey’s Paw”
By Amy R. Handler
Be careful what you wish for, it may just plague you for the rest of your life— and very possibly, well beyond that. Filmmaker Ricky Lewis, Jr.’s 30-minute adaptation of W.W. Jacobs’ short story of 1902 may not be the first, or even the last, cinematic interpretation of this classic of the same name, but as horror films go, I think it’s the best.
For those who may not be aware of this frightening little gem, “The Monkey’s Paw” is a moral tale about the ramifications of greed. It’s a simple plot, really, with a tiny cast of characters. Three of these are family members: Mr. and Mrs. White (Josh Burns and Rosemary Gearheart)—and their 20-something son named Herbert (Matt Knudsen). The Whites live an ordinary, but contented, life in a small village in the English countryside. Herbert works at a nearby sawmill, where he adroitly handles dangerous machinery on a daily basis. One day the Whites are paid a rare visit by Mr. White’s old friend, Sgt. Major Morris (Robert Stilwell).
Once part of the British Army situated in India, Morris is every bit exciting as Mr. White is mundane— replete with the legends of far off lands, and the superstitions of mysterious faqirs. It is when the macabre Sgt. Major warily surrenders an extraordinary relic to Mr. White— namely, a mummified monkey’s paw empowered to grant three wishes—that the lives of White and his family are forever changed.
What makes Lewis, Jr’s screen adaptation so brilliant is the film’s escalating suspense and the encrypted, psychological studies of every principal and minor character within. Juxtaposing these are the multi-talented filmmaker’s magnificent cinematic landscapes and an original score that would make the great Bernard Herrmann proud. All I can say is please find a way to see this rendition of “The Monkey’s Paw” as soon as possible. It will definitely cause you to think twice before you wish for that special something, or someone, ever again.
Read more: http://www.filmthreat.com/reviews/40943/#ixzz1ZBJxGeLE